The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

May 15, 2013

Seneca students to remember classmate by participating in Joplin run

SENECA, Mo. — Kayleigh Teal will be remembered Saturday by several participants and bystanders in the Joplin Memorial Run.

They can be recognized by their teal-colored shirts reading “Running in Memory of Kayleigh Teal.”

Teal was 16 on May 22, 2011. The Seneca High School student was working as a waitress at the Joplin Pizza Hut at 1901 S. Range Line Road when the tornado devastated the building, killing Teal and four others. Those killed also included manager Christopher Lucas, who had herded those in the restaurant into the walk-in cooler and tried to hold the cooler door shut with a cord or rope.

Teal would have been among those receiving their high school diplomas Saturday at Seneca High School.

Susan Herbert, a teacher at Seneca High School, and some of her students, decided to participate in the 5K in Kayleigh’s memory. She said she realized the run was on graduation day.

Herbert said senior class donations were largely a thing of the past, but she brought her idea of participating in the Joplin Memorial Run in Teal’s memory to members of the senior class. They embraced it.

The class raised the $190 for a memorial banner honoring Teal along the route of the run. There also is a T-shirt, and more than 100 of them have been sold. A Facebook page has been created: Running in Memory of Kayleigh. The designs include butterflies, which were a favorite of hers.

Herbert said the school administration has been supportive.

She said it’s not possible to determine how many students or others have signed up to run in Teal’s memory, but she estimates it is five to 10.

Herbert said she didn’t have Teal in any classes, but the teenager made an impression.

“She was just all smiles, friendly,” Herbert said. “Everybody liked her. She was a little spitfire, but not in an ugly way. The kids loved her.”

Among those who will be participating in the 5K is Tayler Higginbotham, Teal’s stepsister and classmate. She said she thinks participating in the run is a good way to remember Kayleigh. She said she and Teal’s other classmates likely will walk the route because they haven’t trained for the run.

“I think it’s awesome, especially around graduation,” Higginbotham said.

She said the tornado anniversary is difficult and the graduation ceremony will be difficult knowing Teal isn’t there.

“She was a really sweet girl,” Higginbotham said. “She impacted a lot of people. She always had a smile.”

Another run participant is RaeAnn Willey, a friend and classmate of Teal’s.

“She was very bubbly and happy,” Willey said. “She was always laughing.”

Willey said the way her class has supported the run is encouraging.

After participating in the Joplin Memorial Run in the morning, her classmates will participate in the graduation ceremony at night. All who spoke with the Globe said Teal’s presence has been missed the past two years and that will be apparent again Saturday night.

Butterfly pendants

Seneca High School Principal Willie Ng said Kayleigh Teal’s classmates at graduation on Saturday will wear butterfly pendants provided by her father.


Text Only
Top Stories
  • r071114redoak2.jpg Red Oak II: Lowell Davis’ ‘dream, art, love’ and final resting place

    The collection of buildings would become a town (though he didn’t intend for it to, and it has never been officially recognized either by the U.S. Postal Service or the state of Missouri).

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • Money clouds farm fight

    For much of the summer, while the campaign surrounding “right to farm” has been focused on its impact on “small, family farmers,” the bulk of the money pouring into the fight has come from big agriculture interests.

    July 26, 2014

  • r072514schoolhouse3.jpg VIDEO: Full of history, one-room schools focus of preservation by local groups

    The old Kings Prairie school sits on a narrow Barry County farm road, surrounded by quiet fields and farmland.

    July 25, 2014 6 Photos 1 Slideshow

  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • r072314girlgunclub3.jpg Women's league offers practice, social opportunities for gun owners

    The objective for some is to improve their skills for target or competitive shooting, the league's website says. Others, while wanting to improve their skills, also are interested in aspects of self-defense.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • r072414trainwreck2.jpg Train crash a century ago among area’s worst disasters

    Burk Johnson had been threshing wheat near Joplin when his newlywed son and daughter-in-law picked him up and took him to Joplin’s Union Depot to catch the evening train home to Neosho.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • 072614 Faith 2.jpg Rich Brown: McDonald County Children's choir combines music with a gospel ministry

    The McDonald County Children's Choir may entertain a lot of people, but the hope is that it will bless even more through its ministry, according to choir director Amber Nelson.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Appellate court upholds class-action status for Picher residents

    An appellate court upheld a 2013 ruling on Thursday that a class-action lawsuit brought by former residents of Picher, Oklahoma, against a Tulsa-based appraisal firm involved with the buyout of property in the city can proceed.

    July 25, 2014

  • 1717 Marketplace developer faces more federal charges

    The developer of 1717 Marketplace in Joplin has been indicted with more bankruptcy fraud charges, in addition to those leveled against him last year for a series of bank fraud and wire fraud schemes that totaled more than $3.3 million in losses.

    July 25, 2014